Seventh International Russia-China Conference Discusses "Cooperation in a New Era"

The 7th International Conference between Russia and China took place on June 1. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov, in a video address to the Conference, said:

"It is a well-known fact that the word 'crisis' in Chinese is a combination of two characters: 'danger' and 'opportunity.' I am sure that the hybrid war unleashed by the collective West against Russia opens up new opportunities for expanding Russian-Chinese practical cooperation, including in investment and finance."

Lavrov pointed out that Russia and China intend to step up the use of the ruble and yuan in mutual settlements. "At a time when the U.S. and the EU have turned their currencies into a tool for blackmail, we intend to develop an independent financial infrastructure and significantly increase the use of the ruble and the yuan in settlements between our states. They already account for a quarter of our trade turnover," the minister said.

Lavrov pointed out that in the difficult and crucial time the world is going through today, the comprehensive development of the strategic partnership with the People's Republic of China remains among the priorities of Russia's foreign policy. "President Vladimir Putin has described the relations between Moscow and Beijing as 'a model of efficiency, responsibility and aspiration for the future.' The experience of joint work under the new conditions shows that our ties have a powerful and truly inexhaustible potential, confidently passing the strength test," he emphasized. "Despite the sanctions pressure and information war from the U.S. and its satellites, we were able to not only maintain the entire range of bilateral cooperation, but also saturate it with a relevant substantive agenda. New formats and areas of joint efforts are being created. The scale and intensity of such cooperation will grow."

Lavrov is convinced that the prosperous future of the peoples of Russia and China and, to some extent, the outline of a more just and democratic polycentric world order being shaped, will depend on how effectively the two nations will be able to achieve their objectives.

Lavrov noted that the strategic vector of joint efforts between the two countries is formed primarily as a result of the dialogue of trust at the highest level. He reiterated that on February 4 the Russian president paid a historic visit to Beijing where he held the first face-to-face talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping since the outbreak of the pandemic and adopted a significant political document titled Joint Statement on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development.

"It enshrines common positions on the issues of international security, the democratic process, human rights and sustainable development. I would like to emphasize its provision, which was successfully formulated earlier by my esteemed colleague and friend Foreign Minister Wang Yi: there are no restrictions and prohibited topics in our cooperation," Lavrov added.

Foreign Minister Lavrov stressed that China has long been Russia's main foreign trade partner. "Our economies successfully complement each other. Last year, bilateral trade turnover grew by a third and reached a historical maximum, exceeding $140 billion. Serious positive dynamics are still observed today," he noted.

"Russia and China are systematically implementing all approved cooperation programs. The energy partnership has acquired a strategic character. Large projects in industry, agriculture and transport are being implemented. The construction of road and railroad bridges across the Amur River is completed. Traffic will start soon," Lavrov stressed.

This article was published in
Volume 52 Number 6 - June 5, 2022

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